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tv   A Force in Crisis  BBC News  May 7, 2018 8:30pm-9:00pm BST

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of the nice terror attack. prince charles, laid flowers at the city's memorial — in tribute to the 86 people who lost their lives in july 2016 — when mohamed lahouaiej—bouhlel drove a lorry into a large crowd on bastille day. charles who is touring with camilla, the duchess of cornwall, also visited a perfume factory in the hilltop village of eze on the first day of a five—day tour of france and greece. after the warmest early may bank holiday weekend on record, a pleasa nt holiday weekend on record, a pleasant nights tonight, not too warm, turning fresh across eastern areas, more of a breeze in the west, and a little bit of rain in northern ireland. mid single figures to the mid—teens, depending on exactly where you are. so into tomorrow morning, not desperately warm or cold, quite pleasant for most, sunshine through most of england and
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scotland, but heavy and thundery showers in eastern counties possible. rain spreading across scotla nd possible. rain spreading across scotland through the day, into north—west england, west wales for a time, turning fresh air but brighter here later. largely dry for midlands and the south—east if you avoid the showers. those thunderstorms will rattle off as we go through into tuesday night, atlantic air takes over, meaning the rest of the week will turn cooler with rain at times. this is bbc news — our latest headlines. the foreign secretary is in washington in an attempt to stop president donald trump abandoning the iran nuclear deal. the uk is enjoying a record—breaking heatwave — it's the hottest early may bank holiday weekend on record. extra police are out in parts of london, after a series of shootings in just 2a hours which left one teenager dead and three others injured. there's also been three further shooting incidents today — in manchester and london,
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and gunfire was also exchanged between police and a man in oxford. vladimir putin has been sworn in for a fourth term as president of russia, marking 18 years in power. now on bbc news — sam poling investigates the series of crises to have hit police scotland, five years after the creation of the national force. tonight — a police force in crisis. unauthorised surveillance, threats and intimidation of witnesses. the listjust goes on. they were spying on you? they were spying on me. frontline officers targeted. we're talking what, bugs? yes. listening devices? absolutely. that information didnae left my head.
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never left my lips. corruption within the ranks. officers felt pressured to charge a person even when there's not enough evidence. they were saying i was corrupt and that they were investigating me as a corrupt officer. the department had a target. every shift had a target. every officer had a target. the evidence they did not want you to see. that's scored out because they don't want it. i can't see the word "fear". is it in there? i look at this, and i am so disappointed. and trouble at the very top. what about your background? my background as a police officer? the allegations of sexual assault. it has been five years since scotland's eight police forces were merged into one. and the new national force has stumbled from crisis to crisis. i spent the last few months investigating what has gone wrong. i discovered a culture of secrecy and suspicion where target—driven policing has led to crime figures being manipulated and
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serious offences ignored. and corruption at the heart of the force. i begin by talking to as many officers as possible, serving and former. i want to know where they feel the problems began. eventually, i get a call from one of the most senior ranking officers around at the time of the merger. he tells me that there were concerns that bad practice and corruption from some legacy forces had carried on into police scotland. he won't go on camera, but these are his words spoken by an actor. some detectives were acting beyond their powers. they were cooking the books and skewing evidence of process. management wanted to know why. these officers were putting cases in jeopardy, and we thought it was a cultural thing of results at all cost.
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management wanted to see how widespread this was and stop the extreme behaviour. it isn't long before i discoverjust how extreme. this is a document which i have had leaked to me. it is called the quality assurance review. it is dated november 2014. it was commissioned by the then chief constable, sir stephen house. the interesting bit is that i have also had leaked to me four previous versions of that report. this is the first one. this is how it started life. inside that first report are three memos, each outlining bad practice, unlawful behaviour and serious corruption. and all committed by police officers.
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this one is from the counter corruption unit. they have been looking at the tayside drugs branch, and it says the range of conduct issues identified is as follows. unauthorised surveillance. threats and intimidation of witnesses. unauthorised searches. unlawful, spurious detentions of suspect. colluding while compiling statements. failure to consider intelligence source protection issues. the listjust goes on. this is just the sort of corrupt behaviour my insider had told me about. none of it has ever been made public. i wondered whether those overseeing the force even knew about it. the scottish police authority's job is to maintain policing standards and hold the chief constable to account. moi ali resigned from its board last year after a row over transparency. brian barbour also resigned,
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citing government interference in how the police authority was run. i show them the memos. unauthorised surveillance. threats and intimidation of witnesses. unauthorised searches. it looks like really concerning stuff to me. that i have not seen before. i've not... allegations of this kind of behaviour have not, to my knowledge, been put to the board. would the authority have known about this? as an internal matter, the authority would not known about this until it went through disciplinary, and then come to the conduct and complaints committee. i was a member of the complaints and conduct committee which clearly this concerns and also the audit and risk committee which, again, i think would have a strong interest in these kinds of issues, if there was a pattern of behaviour. yes, i would expect to know about this. and i didn't.
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when i checked the final version of the report, the memos are gone. and they're not the only omissions. the first version of the report is filled with quotes from officers. 334, in all, were spoken to. "officers on the beat are almost bullied into producing returns to satisfy management." "questionable methods such as the re—categorisation of crime to meet targets." "officers may feel under pressure to fake stop—search returns to boost the figures." "in some instances, officers felt pressured to charge a person, even when there is not enough evidence, in order to meet targets." yet none of these quotes appear in the final version. i look at this, and i am so disappointed. it's shocking.
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yes. worse than you thought it would be? i never envisaged this, actually. i understand things go through a process. i would never have envisaged asking people their views and then misrepresenting them. an entire section of the first report is called fear. and the word "fear" seems to come up over and over again. fear of a backlash from the force executive. people are driven by fear. fear of missing targets. constant fear of being criticised. so how many times is that? one, two, three... the word "fear" appears ten times in the first report and in the final report, the word "fear" is just gone. i then begin to see the intervention of the chief constable‘s office. on the fourth version leaked to me, sir stephen house's handwriting
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is on it, as well as someone else‘s. the title page is expressions of fear and anxiety. that has been scored out because they don't want that. they want it to now be called culture and communications. if i look in the final report, it is culture and communication. the word "fear" has gone completely. the service talks about integrity — to take a culture of fear and translate it into culture and communications, that is not something that carries integrity. another striking feature is the attempts from the very top to rewrite problems into the past tense. "problems which affect the force" becomes "affected". "is" becomes "was". this bit here... "communication in police scotland requires urgent and significant improvement."
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they've changed that to "required". then an e—mail is leaked to me that shows the chief constable does not want to just change the report — he is prepared to bury it altogether. the e—mail refers to a meeting which they had about the report and a single word which sir stephen house still wants changed. the chief will not allow the report to be tabled unless this is amended. the e—mail explains where the word is, and it says it is in a sentence, "it is clear that much anxiety and uncertainty as to what was expected remains among staff at operational unit level." the proposal is to change that "remains" to "existed". apparently, this was almost a last straw from the chief, and there is a danger that he will suppress this unless amended. it then says if the amendment is agreed to, than the report would be tabled. do you notice the tense changes?
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oh! how interesting. i am shocked that the chief constable‘s office should see fit to try to, pretty much, obliterate any criticism whatsoever. if this is what the report found, then this is what it found, and this is what should have been published. it has been changed and diluted, and the message that has come out isn't the view of those who expressed it in the first place. the reason the report was commissioned in the first place was to tackle misconduct in the ranks. i show the various different drafts to an organisation that investigates and tackles corruption around the world. they've had time to look at the papers, so i'm going to call him now. this is robert barrington, the director. robert. hello.
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thanks very much for taking this call. you have had time to look at the papers. what you have over the course of the draft is something that becomes steadily less transparent, less challenging, something that is less of a comfortable environment for people who were trying to highlight cases of corruption and highlight issues that were going on inside the force. when you have a culture that does not operate transparently and does not encourage people to speak out, those are actually the conditions in which corruption can thrive, rather than that which it's really exposed. he's basically saying that they were investigating allegations of corruption, and that was the reason behind this report, and yet it would seem that from what we have discovered that this is not a culture which is conducive to actually tackling corruption. former chief constable sir stephen house, who commissioned the report, declined to comment.
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police scotland told us that significant changes have been implemented since the report was written and last year it launched a well—being strategy for all officers and staff. the report, the differing versions, the editing, the apparent rewriting of history — it all calls into question the integrity of policing at that time. the main reason the review was commissioned was to root out bad practice and corruption within the ranks. yet i was to hear the same allegations made against the very unit set up to tackle it. i'm innocent. the question is, are you? in tv world, it is known as ac—i2, made famous by the bbc drama line of duty. i am just doing myjob. and i am doing mine.
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it is called nicking bent coppers. i don't care if it is one rotten apple or the whole bloody barrel. in real life, this was the head of police scotland's counter corruption unit until 2013. it was his job to go after the rotten apples. the corruption unit deal with all criminality with allegations of police staff, which can be anything from drug misuse, drug supply, theft, fraud. one of the unit's biggest concerns that was about lea ks from within the force — officers selling information to journalists and to organised crime groups. what they could do was utilise that officer to obtain information from police that would help their individual crime enterprises. the means of investigating that are exactly the same means we are talking, what? bugs? cameras?
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listening devices? yes, absolutely. the ccu was obliged to report every suspected data protection breach. officers whom they believed were accessing the police intelligence database with no justifiable policing purpose. this meant some officers who claimed they were using the system to help solve crimes instead found themselves labelled corrupt and facing prosecution. alan. nice to meet you. alan cotton was a detective based in glasgow. in 2009, there was an attempted murder in ayrshire. a serious incident — there were firearms and machetes involved, and the victim nearly lost an arm. an eyewitness with a criminal background contacted him to pass on information about the attack.
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alan cotton looked at reports linked to the crime, even though it wasn't his case. would that have been normal, for you to have looked at that? it would be normalfor any professional detective to do so. you do not want to be going to a senior investigating officer and wasting their time with inaccurate information. you didn't do anything with it? you didn't sell it to anyone? not at all. see what you just did there. "you didn't sell it." that was my automatic response. people would think that. they think i must have sold the information, because that is what the general public think a data protection offence would be, that you took that information and misused it. what i did was look at the information. it didnae leave my head. it never left my lips, i never wrote it down, i never sent any information over to anyone. the counter corruption unit accused him of misusing the information. he was reported for a data protection offence.
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the criminal case was deserted on the eve of the trial. but an internal police inquiry found him guilty of a procedural breach. after a 21—year otherwise unblemished career, alan cotton left the force believing he was a victim of the ccu. what was the most common allegation against officers? without a doubt, data protection offence. data protection — why? because it's a low hanging fruit. what would you say to those who would argue that these data protection breaches were low hanging fruit, they were easy gets? absolutely not. it was always the last part of the inquiry. the criminality alleged was the first part of the inquiry we'd investigate, and data protection came in the wash—up of something we had to report. to call it low hanging fruit would not be true? no. i put this to iain livingston,
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who has been the acting chief constable since september. from the legacy forces where it has taken an awful long time, through the crown and other agencies involved in the justice system, and when these came to court, there was either insufficiency or the evidence wasn't appropriate. my primary objective is to prevent any breach so that people are properly trained and understand what their responsibilities are and use the data appropriately. absolutely, unapologetically, if people are abusing data and disclosing that to people they should not be doing that to, they must be held to account for that. the ccu's robust pursuit of officers proved deeply unpopular among the rank and file. but it was the tactics it deployed in one particular case which put the corruption unit firmly in the headlines. it was in this isolated woodland
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in lanarkshire where the body of a young woman was found in may 2005. she was emma caldwell. her killer has never been found. ten years later, a sunday newspaper took another look at her case. this is what appeared in the sunday mail. crucially, it contained specific details about the police case and how the murder inquiry had ignored a man believed to be a suspect. i remember reading this at the time and feeling quite excited to see what the police were going to do next. we now know exactly what that was. david moran was a detective inspector in glasgow. the emma caldwell inquiry, were you involved in that? no, not at all.
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so what happened ? what happened was that, 5th april 2015, i read an article in the sunday mail which purported to expose a forgotten suspect in the emma caldwell murder inquiry. i could see the journalist had written it, but i also could see that an ex—colleague of mine who had been closely involved in compiling information for the article, he must have had access to detailed information, which i knew right away the police would be furious that that information had got out. instead of reopening the murder investigation, police scotland put its energies into finding the leak. the counter corruption unit made these applications, applying for permission to access text details and phone records of several officers. david moran was one of its targets, yet the ccu hadn't sought the necessary approval of a judge, making the applications unlawful. they were spying on you?
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they were spying on me, yes. through your phones. through my phones, yes. it made me feel a mixture of anger, disappointment, disgust, surprise. because these were tactics which you had been using for years against other people, against murder suspects. serious organised crime rings. indeed. they'd obviously identified me as a suspect for leaking information that appeared in the sunday mail. so you're "david moran, corrupt cop"? yeah, and there has been no move by police scotland to put that right, and that's what i crave. and, meanwhile, emma caldwell‘s familyjust have to sit and wait. i feel so bad for emma caldwell‘s mother, that she sat and listened to me moaning about my phone details getting looked at when she has lost her daughter and hasn't had any proper answers. i do feel bad about that. police scotland eventually apologised to all the officers who were targeted by the ccu and reopened the investigation into the murder of emma caldwell. do you look back on that episode
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with, what, concern? it was very poorly handled by the ccu at the time and mistakes were made, errors ofjudgment were made. the structure and leadership and management of the ccu needed changed, and it has been changed. you accept it needed change? absolutely, and i repeat the apology we made to the individuals involved and their families. that should not have taken place, and we as an organisation will continue to focus on trying to detect the murder of emma caldwell, because that is the key thing for coming out of these sets of circumstances. the overzealous pursuit of data breaches and unlawful spying on officers are just two of the scandals to have hit police scotland since it began. industrial—scale stop and searches.
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armed officers on routine patrols. the death of sheku bayoh in custody. and the couple left dying for days in a crashed car by the m9. their deaths sealed the departure of sir stephen house in 2015. the time has come to move on and take up new opportunities. his replacement was philip gormley. he only lasted two years, quitting over bullying allegations which he denies. deputy chief constable iain livingston stepped in as high—profile suspensions of officers rocked the force. there is no crisis in policing. but are there questions about his own suitability for the role? i have just searched iain livingstone's name online,
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and the fourth entry to come up is this one which talks about allegations of sexual misconduct made against him in 2003. that was when he was in the lothian and borders force. a female constable claimed she was sexually assaulted by iain livingstone at tulliallan police training college. no criminal charges were brought, but he was heavily reprimanded by his own force for inappropriate conduct. he was taken down four ranks — he appealed and was reinstated. what about your background? my background as a police officer? the allegations of sexual assault. you ended up admitting misconduct, staying in the room of a junior officer. you were bumped down from superintendent to constable and suspended, am i right? no, you are not right. you weren't taken down from superintendent to constable? no, i wasn't taken down and then suspended.
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there was a set of circumstances in 2000 whereby at a social event, at a training event, i had too much to drink, i fell asleep in the wrong place, and that was wrong, and i shouldn't have done that, and clearly i accept that. i was suspended and spent time off work. there was a hearing convened where i did accept i fell asleep, i was cleared of any sexual impropriety. of any level of sexual intent, and at that hearing, initially, i was then demoted from superintendent to constable. i immediately appealed against that and was reinstated. i came back to work and accepted i had made a mistake, and i accepted i have learnt from it, and since that time i have continued to conduct my duties with absolute rigour and professionalism. the public wants a strong, professional leader with integrity in their chief constable.
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is that you? i do think i could do thejob, ijust need to be quite clear in my own mind that that is what i want to do for the next 3—5 years. integrity, fairness and respect are the very values upon which policing in scotland is based. yet i wonder where they can be seen in what i have found. the pressure on officers to meet targets. the silencing of those on the front line. and the rewriting of history by those whose job it was to lead. police scotland is looking for its fourth chief constable in as many years. how will they fix a force in crisis? . good evening. the sun has said on the warmest early may bank holiday
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monday on record, dry and clear tonight, turning misty, more extensively in the west overnight, and by dawn fermanagh could see some rain pushing, temperatures for most in double figures. where you have got sandy soils underneath you, down to six or seven celsius to start tomorrow morning. but a lovely start, temperature shooting up in eastern areas, plenty of sunshine, misty and hills and coasts in the west, northern ireland seeing outbreaks of rain, spreading to the west of the country by lunchtime, into the afternoon across parts of northern england as well. temperatures in the west into the teens, for some a bit of an improvement as we clear the mist and fog, mid to high 20s across eastern parts, and that may set off wallet too have your thundery showers. they will clear through tuesday evening, the rest of the week will be cooler with rain at times. hello, i'm karin giannone, this is outside source. the british foreign secretary appeals for the united states not to tear up the iran nuclear deal — he's met the new secretary of state
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and appeared on fox news. we think that what you can do is be tougher on iran, address the concerns of the president and not throw the baby out with the bath water. vladmir putin is sworn in for a fourth term — extending his almost two—decade rule as the president of russia. india is reeling after two teenagers were raped and then set on fire. and melania trump steps into the limelight to announce her own policy initiatives — one of them is online bullying.
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